Sometimes, life just hits you…

And it hits you hard, like a s-h-i-t ton of bricks.

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Many of you may follow along on my adventures on my Instagram or Twitter, but many have been very basic recently, like formal, birthday, or my typical ‘I love my sisters‘ posts. Why? Cause life hit me and I’m about to get a bit personal with you all.

A lot of times we live in a bubble. We get used to the routine of our lives, sometimes spiced up with a little love-life drama or hard decisions that need to be made. After loosing my father in high school, I am well aware that one day can rock your entire world, not to sweat the small stuff, and the importance of processing your own thoughts.

But sometimes, events that can rock your world hit you all at once….

I am sure you heard about the Belgium attacks on the news, maybe even listened to the Quinnipiac University students who were there talk about what they went through – what they were lucky enough to live through.

The pretty, skinny blonde in the pictures? Yeah, that’s my grand little, one of the people I hold closest to my heart. She’s a best friend, a partner in crime, and one of the women who will beside me at my (one day, far away) wedding. And she was fifty feet away from a bomb that went off in Brussels from a terrorist attack.

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That morning, I woke up to a text message from her to our sorority family saying that she was safe, but the airport she was leaving out of today for spring break was the one that was bombed. She informed us she was safe and that she loved us. And then we didn’t get to talk to her for many, many hours.

I woke up to this before I even knew that there was a bombing, before my Twitter feed was flooded with news outlets sharing about the event, and before my school let us know that it was three of our own that were there.

And I was then forced to continue on my day – classes, spinning with my great-great grand little, homework, etc. Going about my normal day, while everyone else was talking about, gossiping about it, while my sorority family realized our lives could have drastically changed.

And now this was something I needed to process and take this all in. Sudden emotions – the shock, the fear, the sadness – aside, I needed to think this all through.

But before I got to completely process this, one of my other sorority sisters was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. I was supposed to see Corey, my rush crush, days before we got the news at a local St. Patrick’s Day parade. Now, she was not going to be back for the rest of the semester to focus on her health and go through chemotherapy.

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From the moment I spoke to her at recruitment, I knew she was a perfect Alpha Delta Pi and someone who was meant to be a special part of my life. She’s as beautiful on the inside and she is outside and can always make me laugh. Someone who has so much going for her should never have to go through this and thinking about her illness was a lot to process.

She was someone my age and her whole life had been flipped upside down.

Please think about donating to Corey’s GoFundMe. Over $20k was raised in 6 days and you can help make even more of a difference!

So here I was, within two weeks, thinking about two things that twenty-two year olds, or even anyone, should not have to be thinking about. Ever. And now they were both on my plate to process.

And that didn’t even conclude the stress of graduating next month and finding a job because trust me, I think I have a quarter-life crisis everyday about this. Just ask my best friend Paul….I’m always hyperventilating about this.

Plus, class, Greek Week, being an RA, and everything in between… life just hit me. I had a lot to think about, a lot to take in, and a longer to do list than ever before. And if you have ever had a lot going on with a long to-do list, you know it would take super powers to truly focus to the best of your ability.

Here’s to the good days that remind us that there’s more than just the bad. Here’s to Lauren’s safety and here’s to Corey being one of the strongest women I know. Here’s to the future, the unknown, and the support system I have to get me through it. Importantly, here’s to this crazy thing called life.

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Breaking the Bucket List: Spend 24 hours living in New York City before I’m 20

One of my greatest goals in my life is to accomplish everything on my bucket list. I’m constantly adding different things to the list. As the years go by, it continues to grow and grow. I have already completed some of the tasks, such as joining a sorority, go to the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, and go to a taping of NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Whenever I complete another part of my bucket list, I am going to be blogging about it in a new segment I am introducing today called “Breaking the Bucket List.” In this first edition of “Breaking the Bucket List,” I am going to be talking about how I spent 24 hours living in New York City!

I absolutely love New York City – the busy city streets, the lights, the people, just absolutely everything about it. I have taken plenty of day trips there, but have never really lived the experience of living in the best place on Earth. I dream of one day living there, however, I know that right now is not the time. I did, though, want to spend 24 hours living in the city before the age of 20. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to do so!

My best friend, Julia, and I went to visit our other best friend, Vanessa, who attends Parson’s New School of Design in Manhattan. After our two o’clock classes on Friday, we hopped onto our school’s shuttle that took us to our local train station. There, we took a train into Grand Central Station.

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Here Julia and I are on our way to the train station. We took a train into Grand Central Station. Of course, we had to send a selfie snapchat to share the experience!

By the time we got into the city, it was around 6:30 p.m. My 24 hours of living in the city started then. We originally started walking to Vanessa’s apartment, but then decided we should take a cab so we could get there faster. It was my first ever attempt to flag down a taxi – and I did it! Once I flagged down the taxi, I felt so NYC chic. I was ready for you to  start calling me Carrie Bradshaw because I was so ready to take on New York City with my best friends.

Once we got to Vanessa’s apartment and dropped off our luggage, we were off to Union Square. Union Square is only a few blocks away from where Vanessa lives. We were all looking to start the night, so we just grabbed a quick dinner at T.G.I.Friday’s in Union Square.

Once our stomachs were full, we were ready to start the night!

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My two best friends and I! It felt so great to be back together the three of us again.

I have never experienced the night life in New York City. It was one of the parts that I was most excited to experience apart of my 24 hour New York City lifestyle. My two best friends, myself, and Vanessa’s roommate, Emma, got dressed up in our cutest tops, favorite shoes, and took on the city that never sleeps.

New York City nightlife is so different than here in Connecticut, or even back at my home in New Jersey. It was just so much more relaxed and felt so much more of a natural thing. It was one of the most fun nights of my life!

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I don’t think I have ever had a greater night. New York City nightlife is incredible. Here Julia, Vanessa, and I are with one of Vanessa’s roommates, Emma! The four of us had amazing night!

After finally heading back to Vanessa’s room and staying up girl talking just like at home until super early in the morning, we finally went to bed. We needed our beauty sleep to start our adventure tomorrow!

The next day consisted of a lot of walking and exploring the city. We didn’t want to just have our normal New York City experience, the typical one I can usually experience as a tourist. Instead, we wanted to truly get to know the city by exploring.

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Keeping up with our normal snapchat routine, here is the snapchat Julia and I sent a majority of my snapchat friends – the start of our NYC exploration!

The first step was breakfast. The last time we ate, we ate at a restaurant we could have eaten anywhere. Now, we wanted to find something unique. Vanessa knew of a great little hole-in-the-wall breakfast place called Mapi. If you didn’t know that it was there, you probably would have missed it. The store was so small that Vanessa, Julia, and I barely could fit comfortably. Any other patron had to wait outside. There were no seats inside. My best friends and I got our breakfast sandwiches – a ham, egg, and cheese for me – and headed to Union Square to eat. The sandwich was so delicious! Eating it in Union Square, on a park bench, watching all the people go by was just another part of the NYC lifestyle experience I was looking for .

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Our breakfast location for the day – Mapi!

Once we finished, Vanessa had to get back to work on a project. Before parting ways, she gave Julia and I directions and the two of us were off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met was about an hour and a half away from Union Square. Instead of grabbing a taxi, the two of us walked the entire way. There was no greater way to explore the city!

About halfway there, we were starting to get a little tired and a little hungry. We found a quaint little cafe, one that turns out to be apart of a mini New York City only chain, called GiGi Cafe. We went in for a little snack. I ordered an M&M brownie and a lemonade. They were both so yummy! GiGi cafe was the perfect little spot for us to grab a snack and relax before heading back on our miles long walk to The Met!

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With all the walking we were doing, I decided it would be okay to splurge and go for a brownie! It was so delicious. So worth it!

GiGi Cafe was our only stop. Though MapQuest said it was only about an hour and a half walk, we didn’t factor in our breaks our our slow pace (why we thought it was a good idea to do a leg day at the gym the day before we left for the city is beyond me!), we finally got to The Met. As a joke, so many of our friends who knew us, and our crazy antics, doubted that we would be able to make it to The Met by walking all those miles. However, we did it – and have never been prouder of an end result of an adventure!

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And we finally made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Both Julia and I have not been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before, so we had no idea what we were about to walk into.

What we walked into was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen with the most incredible pieces of art, more incredible than I could have ever imagined. It was such an amazing experience to see all of the artwork. We were surrounded by art work that had been created hundreds and thousands of years ago. It was just so powerful to think about as we explored the many different sections of the museum.

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Julia and I inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art – what a beautiful place with beautiful art!

After being in there for quite sometime, we were back on our way to Grand Central Station to head back to Quinnipiac. We set off an about an hour walk and then a two hour train ride. Around 9 o’clock last night, we were finally home.

In less than 24 hours, Julia and I had experienced more than I could have thought. We got to experience the city streets in so many different areas of the city, we got to experience the daytime and the nightlife, we got to experience what it is really like to live in New York City.

Thank you Vanessa for the incredible experience and thank you New York City for being the greatest place on Earth.